Teresa Giudice Breaks Down After the Death of Her Mother on RHONJ Premiere: 'I Feel Numb'
Wednesday’s season 8 premiere of The Real Housewives of New Jersey opened up on a sad note, as Teresa Giudice mourned the death of her mother Antonia Gorga, who died in March after a battle with pneumonia at age 66.
“My mother, she fought really hard. But the pneumonia was too hard for her,” Teresa, 45, said through tears. “My mom, she was just the most caring, loving mom ever. And she only cared about my brother, me, and my dad. She was an amazing woman. She was pretty amazing.”
“I still can’t believe that she’s not here. I keep expecting that she’s going to come over tomorrow,” she added. “I keep getting depressed. I just feel lost.”
It’d been a tough year for Teresa since RHONJ viewers saw her last season, which documented the Standing Strong author returning to her family after her 11-month stay in prison for bank and mail fraud. Now her husband Joe Giudice is in jail serving out his own 41-month sentence for fraud, while Teresa manages life as a single mother to four daughters — Gia, 16, Gabriella, 12, Milania 11, and Audriana, 8.
“I have good days and I have bad days. I miss my mom tremendously. It’s hard to have Joe away, but we’ve adapted the best we can,” Teresa said. “Joe’s been gone now a year. … Since Joe’s been away I’ve been juggling a lot. The girls are all in activities, so it’s really busy.”
The loss of Teresa’ mother has been hard on Teresa’s brother Joe Gorga, too. “Let me tell you something, they had a great marriage. They loved each other,” he told his wife, Melissa Gorga, of his parents.
For Melissa, her mother-in-law’s death only put things in perspective that their family needed to remain close.
“Joe’s been really heartbroken since his mother’s past away. The kids have been really good about giving him space and letting him breath a little bit,” Melissa said. “[But] the passing of his mom just puts things into perspective. It makes me want to enjoy life together. I want to spend more time with the kids. I don’t want to live to work, I want to work to live.”
Teresa felt similarly, though she appeared to feel some resentment towards her husband for taking her away from time she could have spent with her mother.
“I do get frustrated with the situation with my husband, I do get upset,” Teresa revealed at a group dinner later in the episode. “I’m very hands-on with my kids — I’ll jump over backwards with my kids. So I hate that I couldn’t be there ’cause I was away. If things were done right, he should have been putting me and his four daughters first. Then we wouldn’t be in this predicament. It just hit home because of my mom now. That’s what upsets me.”
“I needed my mom,” she confessed to viewers. “I come from a small family and her being there. I love my daughters having a grandma, but because of the situation that he put me in, I lost 11 and a half months with my mom. That upsets me that I missed out on that year. So right now, I’m going through that.”
If there’s one silver lining to the situation, it’s that Teresa has been able to get more time with her father Giacinto Gorga, who is now living with her. One scene in the premiere showed her and her brother Joe packing up the home he stayed in with his late wife.
“It’s been a month since my mom passed, and my dad’s still feeling kind of lost. I see him cry every day, and I want to make things better, but there’s no way to make things better. She’s not here,” Teresa said.
“On the way here, daddy was crying,” she told Joe. “Every time he walks in, he sees mommy. He wants to stay close.”
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Joe promised to come around a lot so Teresa wouldn’t have to handle the burden alone. But the New Jersey Housewife couldn’t get help but break into tears.
“When I wasn’t here that year, she came to see me every week,” Teresa remembered of her time in jail. “It just doesn’t feel real. I feel numb. But for my daughters, and for my dad, I’m trying to stay positive. This is part of life, you just gotta keep moving forward.”
The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Wednesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.